While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spearheads recreational legalization across Canada, the northern nation's cannabis producers are setting their sights far beyond their own borders and towards the global market.
Currently, there are four giant companies that effectively control the medical marijuana sector in Canada: Cronos Group, Canopy Growth Corporation (which has already collaborated with Snoop Dogg), Aphria, and Tilray. There’s no doubt that each of these cannabis producers will surely direct their attention towards the impending Canadian recreational system, but they’ve also taken advantage of the budding medical marijuana market that has started to develop across the globe.
At the moment, the four producers are exporting their product to a number of foreign countries, including New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Brazil, and Croatia. While the medical cannabis market is just now sprouting up on an international level, some countries are hesitant to start cultivating in their own homeland.
For example, Germany recently approved medical marijuana legislation, but there’s almost still no infrastructure to actually grow cannabis there. Until the proper framework allows local producers to cultivate the crop within their own country, German patients are dependent on exported medication.
Another strategy for these Canadian producers has been to invest in cannabis companies outside of their country. Last year, Canopy Growth Corporation acquired the German-based medical cannabis distributor MedCann GmbH, ultimately allowing them to market their famous Tweed-branded marijuana strains in German pharmacies. While the four Canadian cannabis giants have already found success in Europe, the medical cannabis movement has yet to reach its full potential.
Believe it or not, these Canadian cannabis producers are even creeping into the American medical marijuana market. For instance, the Aphira is heavily invested in a medical dispensary in Florida, as well as a marijuana company in Arizona.
Although these producers are currently restricted to exporting their cannabis as a pharmaceutical product, half of the estimated $200 billion global market is made up of medical marijuana. As the cannabis movement continues to spread across the world, these major grow companies have found themselves a uniquely lucrative situation. By placing themselves on the international stage and cultivating global recognition of their brands, the consumption of Canadian-grown cannabis will likely know no boundaries or borders.